How to determine if it makes sense to convert to LED

The cost of electricity these days is not a thing of laughter. We should all be looking into ways of saving on electricity and the associated costs. LED lighting can help you save money, after an initial outlay.

Invented way back in 1962, LEDs only really took off in the early ‘90s when Japanese company Nichia Corp invented the first blue LED with high brightness that was suitable for mass production. Now that LEDs are part of the mainstream, their prices have dropped significantly, a trend that is likely to continue.

So, why should you switch to LEDs? Well, a great example is this: one LED downlighter that gives off the same amount of light as a halogen lamp consumes one-fifth of the amount of power. This means that 50W halogen down lighters can be replaced with 10W LED lamps. This translates into a massive saving in energy costs.

Apart from lower your utility bill, switching to LEDs will reduce the amount of maintenance needed on your lights, as well as associated costs. Because the bulbs last 10 to 1000 times longer than the ordinary kind, your bulb replacement costs are enormously reduced. You will also have to change bulbs far less frequently.

When considering the cost of energy, factor in how many hours a day you are running your lights. If your outside lights are on for 12 hours a night, for example, it makes sense to switch to LEDs. A production facility or factory that runs for 24 hours a day is an LED no-brainer. Even a small switch can make all the difference.

To encourage switching to LEDs, some utilities afford consumers with generous rebates for converting to them. This can dramatically reduce any outlay you may have to make in the form of new light bulbs and, sometimes, new light fittings. LED bulbs and fittings are usually more expensive than their ordinary alternatives, but these costs can be off-set against the savings you are making in energy and bulb replacement costs.

Unfortunately, there are some low-quality LED products on the market. These products tend to die before their pricier, better-quality alternatives. If you are going to switch to LED, make sure you go for quality products that will last a good long time. Some bulbs can, in fact, last for years, saving a considerable amount in energy costs.

It is also important to realize that incandescent globes waste a significant proportion of energy through heat. You will know this if you have touched a light bulb that’s on. It’s hot. LEDs are different. When an LED is poorly designed, it will suffer from poor thermal management. This results in heat being poorly dissipated to cause damage to the circuits in the lamps, and can even create the LED to burst. When an LED is a high quality, it is efficient at dispersing heat, dissipating it through the back of the lamp.

To switch to LED lighting, consider making the conversion one room at a time. This will spread the cost of the conversion over a period, making it a less daunting expense. Let’s say you start in the kitchen. Get advice on whether or not you need to have any of your light fittings changed. If so, get quotes on having them replaced, but make sure you’re going to be getting quality products. Replace all your existing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, and make a note of the date. Also, keep a record of how much the bulbs cost you. This way, you can work out how much the bulb cost over the period of its lifetime. This will help you keep track of your savings.

When you can afford it, move to the next room and make the same assessment. You might want to add LED strip lighting instead of down lighters. These strip lights are cheaper than individual bulbs and can light up an entire area easily and attractively.